.....it is with a sad and heavy heart that I write this blog this morning. Normally, I don't check my email before going to church, but today I am home once again with Caleb who has a sore throat yet again. So, I checked me email, and somehow knew that amidst all the junk mail there was something important...then I saw it...an update on sweet Carson Richardson...I had a bad feeling as there had been very few updates in the past (they were in Guatemala seeking a new treatment for Carson's cancer) few days/weeks. I knew they were back in the states and that Carson wasn't doing very well. Last night, Carson went home to be with the Lord. His fight is over and he is at church this morning sitting right in front of his Savior...It is hard to type this because I feel SOOO bad for his parents and family as I am sure they are completely filled with sorrow. It is also so amazing to know that God brought them back to the states in enough time to be able to let a lot of the family come and say goodbye, especially Carson's brother. His timing is PERFECT and I am sure that is hard to believe in the midst of feeling the worst heart break a parent could ever imagine, but it is so true.
I also wanted to share with you how much this family has taught me. I have never personally met this family, but have followed their journey now for several years. Carson fought cancer for 4 years and through it all, remained a sweet kid, participating in sports, going to school, and doing what any normal 7 year old boy would do. His parents were so filled with faith and trust in God. I know that they truly had given Carson to God - entrusting his life in God's hand. It scares me to completely hand my children over to God and yet, I know I need to, because in the end, it isn't my choice whether they live or die. It is completely out of my hands, and yet, I cling to the hope that I am still in control of them. I can do everything to meet their needs, keep them safe, protect them from anything and everything I can, but yet, the control is not mine. I think of Abraham and how he WILLINGLY took Isaac to the altar to sacrifice his son - NO WAY could I do that. I think that my faith in God is so "good", but there are so many areas in my life that I am clinging to and don't want to turn over to HIM. I am sure there is a huge sense of freedom when we actually do that. We were born on this earth to love and serve God and by clinging to things that ultimately are not in our control is being selfish. When we realize that God is in control, we can feel the freedom to live a life that honors Him. I am so not there, but each and every day - especially now after seeing someone HAVE to let go and let God - I will be striving to pray over my kids - to pray for God's protection, health, and wisdom for Josh and I as we raise our kids to love and honor God in all they do. I think that this is a lifelong journey and sometimes, like in Carson's case, we have to let go before we are ready. I have seen this family in church several times, and they seem like such a strong and amazing family. I have no doubt that they will come through this stronger for it. I know that Kimberly and Ryan will be able to help others through such a horrible time in their life. I believe with all my heart that God only allows us to have things happen to us that He KNOWS we can handle. He knows how strong the Richardson family is and He knows the impact they will have on so many other families. They have had a huge impact on me for starters.
Dear Lord - cover the Richardsons in your love, surround them with the people in their life that they need right now. Thank you for Carson's life and the amazing boy he was, thank you that he was able to be here and bless so many people for 7 years. Thank you that his fight is over and that he is now with you and has no pain. I pray for Collin, his brother, that you will surround him with love and comfort as I know he was not only Carson's brother, but his best friend, so I know he is truly suffering. I pray for Josh and I as parents that we would commit our children to you and know that you are the Shephard and you will take care of your flock which includes the three children you have blessed us with. Help us to be good parents and to teach our children to love you and to trust you to protect them. Help us to show them your love in all that we do. I know that you love us and will always take care of us no matter what situation you bring us into.
Please say a prayer for the Richardsons right now. Say a prayer for your children too....life is too short to not coat them in prayer.....